Mississippi Republicans now control every branch of state government. The capitol, on this bright but frigid day, boasted a who’s who of Republican luminaries as the coronation was officially kicked off. Secretary of State Delbert Hoseman emceed the early precedings of the house while outgoing Gov. Haley Barbour spoke briefly to the senate chamber.
Also on hand were Congressman Gregg Harper, Lt. Gov. Elect Tate Reeves, Auditor Stacy Pickering, Ins. Commissioner Mike Chaney, PSC Commissioner Leonard Bentz and many others.
As we stated earlier, house and senate leaders where elected with little fanfare.The house, by acclimation, elected Rep. Phillip Gunn (Clinton) its Speaker along with Rep. Greg Snowden (Meridian) Speaker Pro Tempore. On the senate side, Sen. Terry Brown (Columbus) was elected President Pro Tempore.
Democrats did participate in the process. Rep. George Flaggs (Vicksburg) seconded the nomination of Speaker Gunn while Sen. Willie Simmons (Cleveland) seconded the nomination of Sen. Brown. The only terse moment came when Rep. Omeria Scott (Laurel) raised a point of inquiry over the procedure to elect the speaker by acclimation. When the vote was called, she nor any other member opposed the nomination.
At the end of the day, the transition to a GOP controlled state government went off without a hitch. Republicans have been given the reins to lead and so they must pivot from campaign mode to governing. Nationally, they have failed to make such a transition.
The days ahead will be quite interesting but for now, let the Grand Ole’ Party begin!